Who says someone is enlightened? How do you know someone is a master? Are there enlightened masters as compared to unenlightened ones? Are there degrees of enlightenment? Once enlightened, always enlightened, or in the state of? Or can it “fade” or lead to a real bad ego trip? What defines a master? Can anyone ever truly master anything at all? Is there not always a new dimension that opens up, new nuances to be discovered? If you could master something completely, wouldn't you be enlightened? Is there an enlightened master vs an enlightened fool? The enlightened housewife?Are they not the same?
If you yourself are not yet enlightened, how could you possibly tell if someone else is? If you can't vibrate on that level, how can you know? How do you tell if it's a fraud, how do you tell if someone is being masterfully on an enlightened ego trip? Does command of certain powers mean someone is enlightened? In an enlightened master, what does compassion look like? How do you know which teacher is “for real”? Do you believe what they say or what they do? How do you know which one is for you?
Ok, I see we won't get all that far with this.
On your journey to awakening, you will have to discover for yourself what is true. In the process, you may come across your inner Being, your essential self, your heart of hearts, your true teacher, the center of your being and the Universe. Maybe the paradoxes will cease to puzzle you. Maybe you'll find there are no answers, there might be no questions.
My very first spiritual teacher in this lifetime once said to a group of us at a workshop: There are students who will dig many times, go from one teacher to the next, teacher hopping, to get to the treasure, but at some point, you will need to stay with a path and go deep if you want to find it. Say there is a terrain, dry but potentially fertile. There is also water in the ground, a huge reservoir, but it's very deep. If you want to get to the water, at some point you will have to dig deep, very deep, not giving up. So, while your spiritual journey may take you here and there, at some point, choosing a path and sticking with it will be necessary. Discipline is a necessity.E.J. Gold actually came up with an analogy even more appropriate of our time, I think. It's available as the Jigsaw Puzzle Talk through IDHHB.
There are varying degrees of openness to what is, to Being HERE. Of course you have to be willing and able to tolerate what is here now. How willing and able are you to let go of everything in the past and be new in each moment? That is what is required to be response-able.
I still at times need the outer teaching and turn to what is available..online, in books, in nature. If I am lucky, the Universe talks to me via a billboard, an everyday casual remark, an unexpected event that has an opening effect....
And by the way, what ARE you looking for? Say you want to wake up...for what? Is service really what you had in mind? Or what else...?